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Myths of Assisted Living

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Making a move to a senior living community can be scary for many people.  Most seniors have a misconception of what today’s version of assisted living is.    I remember visiting nursing homes with my parents when I was a little girl.  It was scary, sterile, and institutional.  Today, senior living communities are designed vibrantly to ensure residents have a high quality of life; socially, emotionally, and physically.  They are fun, social, and bright.  Purpose-built communities such as Inspired Living are designed to remove barriers that seniors encounter so they can live more independently. If a resident needs assistance with medications, we assist with medication management.  If they are unsteady, we may assist with showering or dressing.  We remove the barriers that make it difficult to make life easier.

 

 I have worked with many families.  I love when a family who has never visited an assisted living community visits for the first time.  The look of relief is usually the first thing I notice.  Because there are so many misconceptions on what a senior living community can provide, many individuals sacrifice care, nutrition, and social interactions trying to avoid the old stereotypic nursing home.  I have summarized some of the biggest myths to help families take the first step to senior living- which is discussing it.

Myth 1.  I HAVE TO GIVE UP MY CAR

Many residents keep their cars but soon come to realize the transportation the community   provides saves them time, money, and is more convenient.

Myth 2.  I HAVE TO SELL MY HOUSE FIRST

Many families make the decision to have mom or dad move in first, then sell the house.  It is both easier and safer.  The resident can bring the things they need, and the real estate agent can stage the house accordingly.  It can also be challenging to have to leave when there are showings and unsafe when someone knocks on the door without an appointment.  There are many types of bridge loans and short-term loans available if needed.

Myth 3.  I CAN’T COME AND GO AS I PLEASE

An assisted living community is not a hospital.  Residents can come and go as they please.  The exterior doors do lock at night, but there are always staff around the clock to let them into the community.  Residents have keys to their own apartments.

Myth 4.  I HAVE TO GIVE UP MY PET

Pets add value to our lives.  Many senior communities like Inspired Living are pet friendly and other residents enjoy the ambience pets bring into the community and I often see residents walking dogs together.

Myth 5.  I WON’T KNOW ANYBODY

Residents love when new residents move in.  It is a time to bond and make a new friend.   Resident Ambassadors reach out to new residents and invite them to events happening in the community.  I love when I see someone who has lived alone and experienced loneliness, move in and experience friendship again.  It is very touching.

 

Myth 6.  I WON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO

Residents are engaged in many different types of activities both in and out of the community.  Fishing, shopping, trivia, exercise, cooking demos, happy hours.  One thing I have heard often from adult children is, “When Can I Move In”.

Myth 7.  MEDICAID AND MEDICARE WILL PAY FOR ASSISTED LIVING

Medicare does not pay for independent living, assisted living, or memory care.    There are certain communities that accept Medicaid, but Medicaid ONLY pays for care, not the apartment. 

If you’ve read this far thank you!  Here is a wonderful tip to help your children or grandchildren.  Long Term Care will pay for assisted living and memory care as long as there is care needed.  This is spelled out in the policy.  It is a good idea to understand your policy and we can help you with that.  I recently inquired about purchasing a LTC Policy for myself because I see the benefits day after day in the assisted living world.  Unfortunately, I waited too long.  A great gift idea might be to purchase a policy for a younger family member such as a child or grandchild.  It is much less expensive to purchase, and it is a gift that one will appreciate in their senior years.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  If you have any questions or would like further information I can be reached at pmcgraw@validusseniorliving.com.  I would be happy to assist you.

               

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